VW and Microsoft collaborate on cloud services

Microsoft and Volkswagen are to provide automotive cloud services

Volkswagen and Microsoft will collaborate to develop an automotive cloud, planned to be one of the largest dedicated automotive industry clouds for all future Volkswagen digital services and mobility offerings.

The supervisory board of Volkswagen approved the agreement between Volkswagen and Microsoft yesterday.

With Microsoft as its strategic partner, VW says it is taking a decisive step in its digital transformation into a mobility provider with a fully connected vehicle fleet and the Volkswagen We digital ecosystem.

“The strategic partnership with Microsoft will turbocharge our digital transformation,” said Herbert Diess, CEO of Volkswagen. “Volkswagen, as one of the world’s largest automakers, and Microsoft, with its unique technological expertise, are outstandingly well-matched. Together, we will play a key role in shaping the future of auto-mobility.”

From 2020 onwards, more than five million new Volkswagen brand vehicles per year will be fully connected and will be part of the internet of things (IoT) in the cloud. The partnership between the two companies aims to lay the foundation for combining the global cloud expertise of Microsoft with the experience of Volkswagen as a car maker with a global market presence.

“Volkswagen is harnessing technology to digitally transform and deliver innovative new connected car services to its customers,” said Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft. “The world’s leading companies run on Azure, and we are thrilled that Volkswagen has chosen Microsoft. Together we will reimagine the driving experience for people everywhere.”

Together, the two companies plan to develop the technological basis for a comprehensive industrial automotive cloud. In the future, all in-car services for vehicles of the core Volkswagen brand as well as the group-wide cloud-based platform – also known as One Digital Platform (ODP) – will be built on Microsoft’s Azure cloud platform and services as well as Azure IoT Edge.

Via the automotive cloud, Volkswagen aims to optimise the interconnection of vehicle, cloud-based platform and customer-centric services for all brands, such as the Volkswagen We ecosystem.

By building the automotive cloud, Volkswagen should be able to leverage consistent mobility services across its entire portfolio and provide new services such as in-car consumer experiences, telematics, and securely connect data between the car and the cloud.

As part of the new entity, Volkswagen will establish an automotive cloud development office in North America near Microsoft’s headquarters.

To help usher in a new wave of automotive transformation, Microsoft will provide hands-on support to Volkswagen as it ramps up its automotive cloud development office, including resources to help drive hiring, human resources management and consulting services. The workforce is expected to grow to about 300 engineers in the near future.

Beyond the technological rationale of the partnership, Microsoft provides access to cloud expertise across its organisation so Volkswagen developers and engineers can benefit and learn from Microsoft’s culture of collaboration and agility and can transfer those experiences into the core Volkswagen organisation.

In the long term, the products developed through the partnership will be rolled out to other Volkswagen brands in all regions of the world, building the foundation for customer-centric services of the brands. This includes the Volkswagen ID electric family as well as conventionally powered models. In the future, Volkswagen’s fleet of cars will become mobile IoT hubs linked by Microsoft Azure.




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